Bees and birds play a vital role in balancing natural biodiversity. The symbiotic relationship between bees and all flowering plants is what balances our ecosystems. Flight 93 National Memorial is a former surface coal mine. The bees and birds help to restore the memorial grounds and the crash site to its natural state. When Flight 93 crashed on September 11, 2001, it burned a small hemlock grove located on the nearly 40 acres of ground that became the crime scene investigation area. This area is now considered sacred ground and the 40 passengers and crew members' final resting place. The Pollinator Program will ensure that the natural habitat and ecosystems of the memorial are environmentally restored and will create a living memorial landscape that will continue telling the story of Flight 93 for generations to come.
Several passengers and crew members on United Flight 93 were passionate about the environment, and a handful was traveling for personal trips that involved the outdoors. Alan Beaven was an ardent environmental litigator who prosecuted Clean Water Act violators. Richard Guadagno spent 17 years in environmental protection as a member of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Christine Snyder was an arborist and worked for The Outdoor Circle, Hawaii's oldest non-profit environmental group. Four passengers were traveling to Yosemite National Park (William Cashman, Patrick Driscoll, Donald & Jean Peterman) to hike and enjoy the beauty. Donald Greene was headed to Lake Tahoe for the same reasons. As Flight 93 National Memorial's living memorial landscape is restored, we honor all 40 passengers and crew members.
To help cultivate the living memorial landscape that honors the 40 passengers and crew member of Flight 93 every day, the Friends of Flight 93 have partnered with Powdermill Nature Reserve in setting up and maintaining eight beehives at Flight 93 National Memorial. These eight hives are home to over 500,000 bees. According to surveys done at the memorial in both 2016 and 2017, Flight 93 National Memorial is home to more than 60 different species of bees!